Oscar Betting Guide 2019

Facts, Figures, And Other Resources For Legal Betting On The Biggest Night in Movies

Legal U.S. Oscar betting for the first time

Plenty of people have tried to guess who will take home the Academy Award at an Oscars party or with friends. New Jersey is taking the movie awards to the next level.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement gave sportsbook the all-clear to accept wagers on the Oscars. So far, most NJ sportsbooks have posted odds. It is unforged territory for regulated US sports betting. Nevada has never booked action on the Oscars. Additionally, spokespeople for both West Virginia and Pennsylvania said there are no plans to offer Oscars betting.

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How does Oscar betting work?

There is really only one type of bet sportsbooks will offer on the Oscars. Each nominee in a category has moneyline odds that they will take home the award.

Let’s take Best Director as an example. Here is a look at the five nominees and sample odds for each one:

  • Alfonso Cuaron: -1,200
  • Spike Lee: +700
  • Adam McKay: +2,000
  • Pawl Pawkikoski: +2,000
  • Yorgos Lanthimos: +2,500

The favorite to win the award is Cuaron (-1,200), who directed the film Roma. If you bet $120 on Cuaron to win and he does, you would get your $120 back and profit $10. In other words, you would have to wager $120 to win $10 (or $12 to win $1, and so on).

Let’s say you bet $10 on McKay (+2,000) and he upsets though. Then you would win back your $10 bet and profit $200. In other words, you would win $200 for every $10 you wagered (or $20 for every $1, and so on).

Because there are countless awards show leading up to the actual Oscars, there is typically a clear frontrunner in every category. That means steep moneylines on the likely winners. These bets require you wager a lot to win a little. However, if you can accurately predict an upset, you can make a tidy profit.

Where can you bet on Oscars?

So far, New Jersey is the only state willing to offer Oscar bets. Here is a look at every legal US sportsbook offering Oscars wagering as well as which categories they are offering:

SportbookOscars offering
DraftKingsEvery category
FanDuel14 categories
CaesarsBig Six
SugarHouseEvery category
BetStarsNJEight categories
888Every category
Golden NuggetEvery category
ResortsEvery category
PointsBetEvery category
William HillBig Six
Hard Rock14 categories
BetAmericaEvery category
playMGM23 categories

The “Big Six” categories are:

Oscars party games

An Oscars viewing party is a fun way to get your movie-loving friends together. While you’re at it, make it even more interactive with some Oscars party games.

Click here to download an Oscars betting sheet. Have your guests check off who they think will win and give out prizes for the three with the most correct picks.

Next up is Oscars Bingo. These four different bingo cards have squares featuring different events that will or could happen during the ceremony. Hand them out to your guests, watch for the squares to fill up, and and out prizes to Bingo winners. Click here to download the full PDF.

Check out our full guide to hosting an Oscars party–lights, camera, action!

Why can’t I bet on the Oscars in Las Vegas?

Nevada has only ever taken bets on sporting events, and events that actually take place on the field of play. Regulators have never allowed betting on something that is not a sport.

79%

How often the Producers Guild of America winner go on to win Best Picture

 

77%

How often the Directors Guild of America winner goes on to win Best Picture.

96%

How often Best Picture was also nominated for Best Director. A movie without a Director nod has only taken home the Oscar on four occasions (1929, 1932, 1989, and 2013)

26

The number of times the movie that won Best Director did not win Best Picture. Eight of those instances have happened since 2000.

Where and When to Watch the Oscars

Ceremony: Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019

Start time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Network: ABC

Streaming options: www.abc.com or via the ABC app. Viewers with certain cable providers can log into the ABC app using their cable login. From there, select “Watch Live TV”. More info on how to watch the Oscars is available on ABC’s website.

Oscar Betting Tips

Pay attention to the guild awards

The Golden Globes used to be a great indicator of who will win the Oscars, but in recent years, the two groups are increasingly not on the same page. Rather than monitor the Globe winners, follow which films and people win the various awards for their respective guilds.

When it comes to Oscar voting, members of the Academy only vote in categories they work in. The editors are the only ones who vote for Best Editing, for example. The only category everyone votes for is Best Picture. The best way to figure out which film editors prefer, you need look no further than the American Cinema Editors awards.

PGA and DGA are best Best Picture predictors

If there is one guild award you should pay attention to more than the rest, it is the Producer’s Guild of America (PGA) award. In the 29 years of existence, the PGA winner has gone on to win Best Picture 79 percent of the time. The Director’s Guild of America (DGA) is equally as successful as predicting Best Picture and even more accurate when it comes to predicting Best Director.

The Best Picture will likely be the least polarizing

When the Academy expanded the Best Picture category to up to 10 nominees in 2009, it also changed how the voting for the category worked. The new preferential ballot system tends to award movies everyone feels generally positive about.

Polarizing movies like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri and La La Land have too many people that strongly disliked them to win. The film most likely to be ranked in the top three of the most ballots is the one most likely to win.

Hollywood loves a good Hollywood story

If you haven’t noticed, Hollywood is a little bit in love with itself. Dating back to the start of the Academy Awards, movies about movies and the arts have always fared well.

Recent examples include The Artist, Argo, Birdman, and last year’s The Shape of Water. This year’s Best Picture field includes three entertainment industry stories, Green Book, Bohemian Rhapsody, and A Star Is Born. Green Book winning PGA top honors and being a story about musicians definitely works in its favor.

Actors playing real people is a winning combination

Four of the last five Best Actor winners won for playing real people. This year, 12 of the 20 acting nominees are people depicting an actual person. While the actress awards don’t heed with this trend as much, the actor awards do tend to go to portrayals of real people. This year, the frontrunners in both Actor and Supporting Actor are roles based on real people.

Actors physically sacrificing for their craft gets rewarded too

In the case of Rami Malek’s portrayal of Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody, he also has a physical transformation as well, which means even more bonus points in his favor. Academy voters also love actors putting on pounds, putting on latex, and putting themselves through the wringer for their craft.

Let the experts do the work for you

If you don’t want to study up for the Oscars before betting, there are plenty of sites that offer predictions for the awards. The most notable is Gold Derby, which tracks the entire awards season and offers predictions from dozens of awards buffs and industry professionals.

Additionally, as Oscar day nears, Variety likes to talk with anonymous Academy members who share what they voted for and their motivations behind their choices. This insight can be very useful to get a beat on what the Academy voters are thinking.

Best Picture odds

There are eight movies nominated for Best Picture this year. The odds at each book vary wildly, so you might want to price shop before committing to a bet.

Here is a look at the odds at each property:

Best Picture

SportsbookRomaGreen BookThe FavouriteBlackKklansmanA Star Is BornBlack PantherBohemian RhapsodyVice
DraftKings-225+250+1400+2500+4000+3000+3000+10000
BetStarsNJ-225+250+1600+2500+4000--+1800+10000
FanDuel-220+230+1900+2900+5000+2500+1600+10000
Caesars-225+250+1900+3000+5000+2700+1600+10000
888-225+250+1400+2500+4000+3000+3000+10000
SugarHouse-225+250+1400+2500+4000+3000+3000+10000
Resorts-305+250+2000+2500+5000+2500+2200+10000
PointsBet-304+300+1600+2800+2000+2400+1400+10000
Golden Nugget-305+250+2000+2500+5000+3300+2200+10000
PlayMGM-275+350+1600+2000+5000+2500+3300+10000
William Hill-350+400+1300+2500+1600+1800+2000+6000
BetAmerica-305+250+2000+2500+5000+2500+2200+10000
Hard Rock-225+250+1600+3300+5000+2800+2800+12500

Best Director

SportsbookAlfonso Cuaron (Roma)Spike Lee (BlackKklansman)Yorgos Lanthimos (The Favourite)Adam McKay (Vice)Pawel Pawlikowski (Cold War)
DraftKings-2500+900+3300+4000+3300
BetStarsNJ-5000+1000+4000--+4000
FanDuel-1350+1000+4500+4500+5000
Caesars-2400+1000+4000+4000+5000
888-2500+900+3300+4000+3300
Resorts-2000+900+4000+4000+4000
SugarHouse-2500+900+3300+4000+3300
PointsBet-3334+900+4000+4000+4000
Golden Nugget-2000+900+4000+4000+4000
PlayMGM-2500+1200+3300+4000+3300
William Hill-1500+800+3000+3000+3000
BetAmerica-2000+900+4000+4000+4000
Hard Rock-1667+800+3300+2800+2800

Best Actor

SportsbookRami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody)Christian Bale (Vice)Bradley Cooper (A Star Is Born)Viggo Mortensen (Green Book)Willem Dafoe (At Eternity's Gate)
DraftKings-835+400+2000+4000+6600
BetStarsNJ-800+450+2500+3500+8000
FanDuel-950+430+2300+4400+8500
Caesars-900+450+2500+4000+7500
888-835+400+2000+4000+6600
Resorts-700+450+2200+4000+10000
SugarHouse-835+400+2000+4000+6600
PointsBet-667+300+1700+3900+6600
Golden Nugget-700+450+2200+4000+10000
playMGM-500+400+2000+10000+10000
William Hill-500+280+2000+4000+12500
BetAmerica-700+450+2200+4000+10000
Hard Rock-700+400+2200+4000+17500

Best Actress

SportsbookGlenn Close (The Wife)Olivia Colman (The Favourite)Lady Gaga (A Star is Born)Yalitza Aparico (Roma)Melissa McCarthy (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)
DraftKings-835+500+1400+3300+6600
BetStarsNJ-700+475--+5000+6600
FanDuel-700+600+1700+4000+6500
Caesars-650+600+1500+4000+6500
888-835+500+1400+3300+6600
Resorts-910+450+2200+5000+6600
SugarHouse-835+500+1400+3300+6600
PointsBet-1000+400+1000+4000+8000
Golden Nugget-910+450+2200+5000+6600
playMGM-700+500+1600+5000+5000
William Hill-900+550+850+2200+7500
BetAmerica-910+450+2200+5000+6600
Hard Rock-600+450+1400+4000+10000

Best Supporting Actor

SportsbookMahershala Ali (Green Book)Richard E. Grant (Can You Ever Forgive Me?)Sam Elliott (A Star is Born)Adam Driver (BlackKklansman)Sam Rockwell (Vice)
DraftKings-3335+900+1700+3300+5000
BetStarsNJ-2000+750+1600+5000+5000
FanDuel-1200+1000+1600+3400+4500
Caesars-1200+1000+1600+3500+5000
888-3335+900+1700+3300+5000
Resorts-2500+800+1800+3300+6600
SugarHouse-3335+900+1700+3300+5000
PointsBet-2500+800+1400+4500+5000
Golden Nugget-2500+800+1800+3300+6600
playMGM-1600+1000+1600+3300+5000
William Hill-1800+1000+1000+4000+3000
BetAmerica-2500+800+1800+3300+6600
Hard Rock-1667+850+1600+4000+5000

Best Supporting Actress

SportsbookRegina King (If Beale Street Could Talk)Amy Adams (Vice)Rachel Weisz (The Favourite)Emma Stone (The Favourite)Marina de Tavira (Roma)
DraftKings-278+450+650+1700+2000
BetStarsNJ-275+450+500+2000+3300
FanDuel-280+500+650+1800+2900
Caesars-250+500+650+1900+2800
888-278+450+650+1700+2000
Resorts-335+400+650+1800+2500
SugarHouse-278+450+650+1700+2000
PointsBet-286+300+600+2000+2600
playMGM-250+400+700+2000+2000
Golden Nugget-335+400+650+1800+2500
William Hill-300+260+850+2000+2400
BetAmerica-335+400+650+1800+2500
Hard Rock-290+380+600+2200+2500

Other Oscar categories

Many other sportsbooks are offering wagers on several more categories beyond the Big Six. Sportsbooks like SugarHouse and BetAmerica feature some categories that are not available anywhere else.

These categories contain some value spots if you are willing to put in the work. Using the guild awards and Gold Derby to suss out some possible upsets and you could bring in a nice payday.

Five years of Oscars winners

Best Picture winners:

2018: Shape of Water
2017: Moonlight
2016: Spotlight
2015: Birdman
2014: 12 Years a Slave

 

Best Director winners:

2018: Guillermo del Toro – The Shape of Water
2017: Damien Chazelle – La La Land
2016: Alejandro Iñárittu – The Revenant
2015: Alejandro Iñárittu – Birdman
2014: Alfonso Cuarón – Gravity

 

Best Actor winners:

2018: Gary Oldman – Darkest Hour
2017: Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
2016: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Revenant
2015: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
2014: Matthew McConaughey – Dallas Buyers Club

 

Best Actress winners:

2018: Frances McDormand – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO
2017: Emma Stone – La La Land
2016: Brie Larson – Room
2015: Julianne Moore – Still Alice
2014: Cate Blanchett – Blue Jasmine

 

Best Supporting Actor winners:

2018: Sam Rockwell – Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, MO
2017: Mahershala Ali – Moonlight
2016: Mark Rylance – Bridge of Spies
2015: JK Simmons – Whiplash
2014: Jared Leto – Dallas Buyers Club

 

Best Supporting Actress winners:

2018: Allison Janney – I, Tonya
2017: Viola Davis – Fences
2016: Alicia Vikander – The Danish Girl
2015: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
2014: Lupita Nyong’o – 12 Years a Slave